Late putback from Wideman helps Butler earn first-ever Big East Conference Tournament win
NEW YORK (AP) — Butler’s first win in the Big East Conference Tournament is one it may never forget.
Forget the players running out on the court at Madison Square Garden to celebrate after the final horn.
The last 35 seconds were unbelievable. The Bulldogs thought they won the game on a jumper by Kamar Baldwell. With 11 seconds to play it seemed they lost it on a three-point play by Khadeen Carrington and then it looked like they lost it against when Baldwin missed a layup with about :06 to play. And then they won.
Tyler Wideman scored on a putback with :04 to play and sixth-seeded Butler stunned third-seeded Seton Hall 75-74 in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament on Thursday night.
“We knew what it was going to take.” Butler coach LaVall Jordan said. “It wasn’t a game of perfect but we didn’t hang our heads when things didn’t go our way. We were down and we just fought back and battled back. And we’ve seen that out of this group before. We know we had it in us and it was great to see it come out at this moment.
Baldwin scored a career-high 32 points to lead the Bulldogs (20-12) to their first victory over Seton Hall (21-11) in three games this season and into a semifinal game against second-seeded Villanova on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Wildcats thrashed Marquette 94-70 in a blowout earlier in the evening.
This was Big East basketball at its best, and the end was as exciting as an NCAA Tournament game.
Carrington had seemingly given the Pirates the game by converting a three-point play with 11 seconds to play for a 74-73 lead.
Baldwin, who was spectacular all night making 12 of 20 shots, drove the right side of the lane and seemingly had a layup. The ball rolled off the rim and Wideman, who battled second-half foul problems, put it back home.
“I wasn’t able to finish,” Baldwin said. “Then Cat (Wideman), like we always say, the bigs just finish rolling, and that’s what he did and put it back in for the win.”
Seton Hall, which had no time outs, rushed the ball upcourt and Miles Powell missed a 3-pointer with :02 to play.
Kelan Martin added 17 points for Butler and Wideman and Sean McDermott finished with 10 apiece.
“Hopefully we play two more games but tomorrow we play a tough Villanova team so we have to be ready for that,” said Martin, who averaged 31 points in his previous two games against Seton Hall.
Carrington led Seton Hall with 17 points. Angel Delgado had 13 points and nine rebounds and Ismael Sanogo had all 12 of his points in the first half.
“It’s a tough loss,” Carrington said. “You never want to lose, but I feel like everyone put it out on the floor, but we knew it was going to be a tough battle when we came in, so it was a tough Big East game.”
The last three minutes were wild.
Butler, which fell behind by 14 early and spent the rest of the game clawing back, getting close and then losing a little ground, didn’t tie the game until Baldwin hit a 3-pointer with 3:35 to play to make it 66-all.
Delgado and Carrington each hit a free throw to give Seton Hall a 68-66 lead with 2:09 to play, but Baldwin made two free throws of his own to knot the score with 1:39 to go.
Henry Baddley gave Butler its first lead since the first half with a fastbreak layup with 1:10 to go, his only basket of the game.
However, Powell hit a 3-pointer that seemed to climb the rim and go into the basket for a 71-70 Hall lead with 55 seconds to play.
A jumper from the baseline by Baldwin with 35 seconds left gave the Bulldogs a 72-71 edge and Baldwin went back to the foul line with 22 seconds remaining after being fouled following a missed layup by Carrington. He missed the second free throw and Carrington converted a three-point play leaving one Butler assistant coach standing in front of his bench holding his head.
A few seconds later the Butler bench erupted when Wideman scored and the team then ran out on the floor after the final buzzer celebrating the school’s first win in a Big East tournament game.
“Both teams made some great plays and they made the last one,” Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said.
Butler: Will face second-seeded Villanova in the second semifinal Friday night.
Seton Hall: Will wait for the NCAA selection show on Sunday.